Easter, as much as Christmas, is a festivity that is eagerly awaited all the year round in Romagna. Historically, in Cattolica the celebrations started from Holy Thursday, when the smell of the freshly baked Easter bread spred through the Streets and the Children played in front of the Church Square after the bells rang in celebration for the last time. Traditionally on Thursday the bells were tightened up with ropes to prevent them to ring, not even with the blowing wind, while women and young girls took turns at the Church in performing the Ora, that is the continuous vigil to the symbolic Tomb of Christ. Holy Friday was a fast day (in Italian giorno di magro): on this day it was forbidden to eat meat, while cheese, eggs, and fish were allowed. Even nowadays it is common to refrain from meat on Fridays and on Holy Friday in particular. On Saturday the bells were freed from their restraints, ringing joyful and gathering people at the Church to bless the hard boiled eggs, arranged in a basket and decorated with drawings and ribbons just for the occasion. The Friday fasting was well rewarded on Sunday morning, when a lot of delicacies filled the breakfast table: the typical Easter bread (pagnotta di Pasqua, a leavaned sweet bread
sometimes filled with raisin) and the sweet version of piadina, ate together with the blessed eggs and salami; also, the typical ciambellone romagnolo (a very simple sweet bread covered with sugars) that was soaked in wine, like Albana or Sangiovese, and finally the Easter chocolate egg. These dishes are a widespread tradition still to this day, and can be found in bakeries all around Cattolica.